I must confess though, that this year I was NOT looking forward to dragging the trees down from the attic. As soon as the suggestion was made, my mind jumped right to last year when we put up the tree. I will never forget it; I was SO incredibly happy. I'd just found out that I was pregnant, and all I could think of was that we'd soon have a little one celebrating the holidays with us. It brought back memories of my own childhood, and I don't think I had ever felt more excited in my entire life. I was already dreaming up the types of traditions we could have as a family...opening one gift on Christmas Eve, serving HoneyBaked Ham for dinner, and attending church as a family. I had all the classic signs: metal taste in my mouth, extremely tired, and already having nausea. While that might sound like a drag, to me it was not. I found out that I was pregnant really early at 4 weeks (exactly 2 weeks after conception), and all the symptoms somehow made it more real and lended to my excitement even more. It was just so wonderful "feeling pregnant".
Only a couple short weeks later, I received news from my RE that she expected me to miscarry, based on blood work showing low progesterone and later decreasing hCG levels. Even with progesterone supplementation the pregnancy went downhill fast. It completely blindsided me. I guess I was just naive. I honestly thought the hard part for me would be getting pregnant and that as long as I did, there was no reason to worry about miscarriage. At the time I didn't realize how common miscarriage is, perhaps because a lot of people don't talk about it. Come to find out later that about 50% of pregnancies in my age group end in miscarriage. Um, hello? No one sent me the memo that is for sure! Needless to say I spent the next month in the worst emotional pain I'd felt since my mom passing.
There were some days I didn't even want to get out of bed, but other days I was just forced to power through. I was actually right in the middle of my miscarriage when I was stuck on the set of a commercial acting for 14 hours straight. That same day we were also entertaining out of town company, and I was slated to make Thanksgiving dinner for 7 the following day. Yeah, fun stuff. Want to be really uncomfortable? Have out of town company while you miscarry and have them not make any comment or give you any condolences whatsoever....like it's a big pretend game that it's not even happening, even though you all know it is. I did have one person, hubby's uncle, approach me on Thanksgiving Day and tell me how sorry he was to hear what I was going through. It was only about a 10 second conversation, but I will never forget how much I appreciated just that simple little statement and hug he gave me. Just FYI, if you ever have a friend or family member who goes through this sort of thing, please don't clam up for fear of saying the wrong thing. They will only feel like you don't really care or would rather not make yourself uncomfortable by bringing it up. Here is what you say to them...
"I am so sorry you are going through this. I know there's nothing I can say to make the hurt you must be feeling go away, but I just want you to know I am here for you. Anything you need or anything I can do, please just say the word. I love you."
Simple right? Actually, you'll notice that quote works well for ALL types of tough situations. And if you can't remember all of that, then try writing it in a card and hand it to the person. Take a chance and let someone know you care, even if it makes you uncomfortable. I guarantee your hesitations are a drop in the bucket compared with the feelings the person miscarrying has, and they will appreciate the effort. And while I'm giving advice here, whatever you do, do NOT make up a bunch of craptastic excuses about how it "wasn't meant to be" or that is "happened for a reason." That will only get you a black eye.
I am pretty damn proud of myself for not breaking down in front of anyone once. Anyway, the point is just that I have some really crappy memories from that time period, and now it's become hard for me to think about the holidays without also thinking of how great it felt to be pregnant....yet how quickly my wonderful new future was ripped away. I know this sounds dramatic, but unless you've gone through it, please don't judge. On top of this, it would have been my mom's 60th birthday this month, and I don't think I have to tell you how much I could use my mom these days. I know, I know....whoas me.
As much as I would have liked to skip the holiday excitement altogether this year, I decided it would not be fun nor fair to sit around the next two months with no decorations and me moping about what could have been. I love my husband way too much to put him through Jinglehell, so suck it up and decorate I did...
|It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!|
Of course my mind went where I didn't want it to a couple times, but I just turned up Michael Buble' Christmas even louder and that seemed to drown out any negative thoughts. I love that album! Seriously, it's a guaranteed mood lifter. By the time I was done I was SO HAPPY and felt like I had a completely renewed holiday spirit. There is just something about sparkly lights and ornaments that is bound to make you smile....kinda similar to holding an ice cream cone. :)
Pregnancy test is scheduled for next week on 11/20 (the day before I started miscarrying last year) so I'm just really trying to stay positive in the meantime and hoping for some good news. No matter what happens, I'm not going to let it ruin the holidays. I'm just not. I have to remind myself that every moment wasted being unhappy about the past or even my current situation could have been a moment spent making a happy new memory with the person I love most in life. Life goes on and so will I....and I will be joyful doing it if I can help it!